Every other press release, blog post, authority information piece, etc., seems to start with the words “In these difficult and challenging times…”. It’s become the world’s fastest cliche.
On the other side are the many gurus telling us that we should lead and stay positive “in these difficult and challenging times”.
Every time we read the same words, they have less power, and since it’s our job as copywriters to create power, using a cliche is… challenging.
But they can be used (I use them frequently). They just must not sound cheesy. And that is the hardest thing to tell. Who is to judge?
We are. Each individual writer. We can write lazily or creatively. Lazy writing produces lazy cliches. We join in with the crowd, and so become part of the crowd (which means we’re no longer heard).
Creative writing means thinking about every word in relation to its target audience. Asking questions like: “how will this change them?” or “how will this make them feel?”.
The number of questions are endless, but as long as they’re relevant to the action you want your target audience to take, then it’s good (and if the reaction is “Urgh, not that sentence again…” then it fails).
Negotiation Rule #2 is Always Be Asking Questions. That applies to writing as well.
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